PET/CT Scan

Positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) is an imaging tool that is highly advanced. It combines two different types of imaging into one diagnostic procedure to produce a more accurate picture of what is happening in the body than PET or CT alone. PET/CT scans can provide information useful in diagnosing and staging many types of cancer, as well as coronary artery disease and some neurological disorders.

Prior to scanning, a very small amount of radioactive "tracer" (radionuclide or radioisotope) is injected into a vein by a PET/CT technologist. The tracer is tagged to a form of sugar that is used for energy by all cells in the body. Areas of abnormally high uptake of the tracer appear as brighter areas on the scan.

Your primary care physician and/or referring specialist, in consultation with a radiologist, will determine if a PET/CT procedure is appropriate for your situation. Call (561) 795-5558 to make an appointment.

If you are diabetic, pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, please inform your physician and the scheduling staff.

  • Generally, PET and PET/CT scans are not performed on pregnant women.
  • Diabetic patients will have special scheduling and procedure preparations for the procedure. A glucose serum blood test may be taken on diabetic patients prior to the procedure.

What to Expect

  • Preparation for the PET/CT scan begins 24-48 hours prior to your appointment. Please review our special instructions to help you prepare: Preparing for a PET/CT Scan
  • The whole PET/CT procedure generally takes 3 hours to perform including registration, injection of radioactive tracer, waiting period, and the time it takes to scan the body. Actual scanning times can vary depending on the type of procedure ordered by your physician; typically, 30 minutes is the average.
  • Following the injection of the radioactive tracer, you will rest comfortably in a quiet room for up to one hour to give the tracer time to distribute through your body. You will be asked to empty your bladder just before the procedure begins.
  • Most of the radioisotope will collect in your bladder. After the exam, you should drink plenty of fluids to flush it out of your body.
  • Our certified PET/CT technologist will prepare your images for the radiologist, who will forward the results to your physician within 24-48 hours after the procedure.

Advanced Imaging for Diagnostic and Interventional Procedures

Radiologists at Independent Imaging have advanced training in diagnostic and interventional radiology procedures. It would be our pleasure to work with you. Find a location near you in Wellington, Belle Glade, Lake Worth, or Royal Palm Beach Florida, or request an appointment online.